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Best East German Restaurant San Francisco 2003 - Walzwerk

Walzwerk

Walzwerk

381 S. Van Ness

San Francisco, CA 94103

415-551-7181

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Walzwerk may be the only East German restaurant we've ever eaten at outside of East Germany, but it's much more than just a curiosity. Its thrift-shop décor, dining room watched over by large photos of Marx, Lenin, and Engels, and carefully curated bathroom filled with the detritus of East German popular culture would pall a bit if the food were kitschy, too. But it's not. The kitchen turns out very personal versions of German classics: The potato pancakes are plump, lightly crusted, mashed-potato cakes; the sweet matjes herring is combined with chopped apples, onions, and pickles in a sour-creamed salad. The crisp, evanescent schnitzel gives the lie to those who reflexively think German food is heavy.

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